How You Can Support a Senior During a Short-Term Stay in Assisted Living
After a surgical procedure or hospitalization, the physician may recommend rehab in a facility prior to when the person returns home. This is usually a short-term period of intensive therapy to promote healing and recovery. However, the idea of moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home even for a few weeks or months can be exceedingly hard to accept.
What are the best ways to help a family member through this challenging life event? There are a number of steps you can take to help overcome feelings of anxiety, fear, and homesickness during a short-term facility stay.
• Personalize the room. The facility will provide the bare necessities: a bed, chair, and dresser. Make the space feel more like home by bringing in items such as a favorite pillow and quilt, family photos, and other small memorabilia. Pack their favorite lotion, shampoo, and other personal care items, along with comfortable clothes. Be cautious, however, about bringing any items of special significance or value. This applies to clothing as well, which might get lost or delivered to the wrong person in the laundering process.
• Visit often. You may feel as though the person is receiving all the care they need, and that infrequent or short visits are fine. However, your companionship and presence are invaluable during this period. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play games and cards together. Bring a book for the individual to read when you’re gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. Or simply sit with them and invite them to share whatever is on their heart.
• Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of exercises and activities to focus on with their physical, speech, and/or occupational therapist. If the older adult and staff agree, attend therapy sessions along with the person. Find out what is involved in their recovery process, and exactly how you can effectively provide encouragement. For example, they may be encouraged to walk whenever possible. Taking walks together during your visits can provide the motivation they need to reach their goals.
You can also ask the doctor if in-home recovery is an option. If so, Generations at Home is here to assist every step of the way! We can begin by helping to prepare the home for the person’s discharge from the hospital. This can include grocery shopping so there are sufficient amounts of healthy food options available, picking up prescriptions, and performing a safety check to reduce fall risks. Once back at home, we can provide medication reminders, prepare meals, take care of light housekeeping, help with transfers and walking, and much more. Through it all, we’re here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home.
Contact us at 727-940-3414 to find out more about how we are able to help with in-home post-hospitalization care services!